Friday, May 18, 2007

Motorola's Cable PON

Motorola introduced PON for cable networks at NCTA last week. I could not understand what it is from the press release, so I just finished a briefing with them.

Motorola is integrating its PON systems into its cable network architecture. PON can carry a cable RF signal to the subscriber and deliver it to a cable set-top box. This makes it straightforward to integrate PON into a cable video service.

The PON provides a data service that is as good or better than the DOCSIS service but is not exactly the same. This means that the cable company will find it easy to support the PON data service in a green field where there is no cable modem service or to support business services. This is more of a problem in an overbuild where both data services will coexist. Motorola is working to address these issues.

Motorola stated that the key to this approach is the back office integration. Motorola has made it possible for the cable company to manage the PON with the same systems that it uses to manage the cable system.

Motorola has found strong interest in PON from the cable companies in North America and Europe. It will start serious discussions with Asian cable companies later this month. Cable companies are interested in PON as a way to support FTTP. This is becoming important to cable companies that are getting telco fiber competition from companies such as Verizon in the U.S.

Motorola's cable PON system is another technology that cable can use to counter the growing threat of TelcoTV services. It will help cable companies facing telco fiber to the home competition in particular. I expect that this will be a strong market for Motorola on a global basis.

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